Post Tagged with: "war on drugs"

Anti-Doping In Sports: The New Front In The War On Drugs

Anti-Doping In Sports: The New Front In The War On Drugs

Brian Alexander writes:

If you’re like most Americans, you watched the Tour de France for about five minutes, and cheered when Armstrong won. You know a little about his cancer charity, and that he dated a pop star. And that’s about the extent of emotional energy you’ve expended. Since I’ve written a lot about doping in sports – and delved into how anti-doping agencies like the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) conduct business – I’ve expended a lot more energy on your behalf.

So here’s the thing you need to know: The USADA takedown of Armstrong matters, and it could effect everybody. Because it will enhance the power and reach of a private, non-profit business that has managed to harness the power of the federal government in what’s quickly becoming a brand new war on drugs … with all the same pitfalls brought to you by the first war on drugs. [...]

In an eerie echo of the tactics used by the American House Un-American Activities Committee during the Red Scare days, the Australian agency issued a call this past November “to anyone involved with, or has information about, doping activity in the sport of cycling to come forward and talk before someone else accuses them of doping.” If you talk first, you can get credit for snitching. If you wait, well, who knows what somebody else might say about you?

Wired Playbook: Why Lance Armstrong’s Confession Should Make You Worry

See also: Hacking your body: Lance Armstrong and the science of doping

January 17, 2013 0 comments
DEA Deprives Man in Holding Cell of Food or Water for Four Days

DEA Deprives Man in Holding Cell of Food or Water for Four Days

Emphasis mine:

By his own admission, Daniel Chong planned to spend April 20 like so many other college students: smoking marijuana with friends to celebrate an unofficial holiday devoted to the drug.

But for Mr. Chong, the celebration ended in a Kafkaesque nightmare inside a San Diego Drug Enforcement Administration holding cell, where he said he was forgotten for four days, without food or water.

To survive, Mr. Chong said he drank his own urine, hallucinated and, at one point, considered how to take his own life. By the time agents found him on the fifth day and called paramedics, he said he thought he could be dead within five minutes. [...]

A spokeswoman for the D.E.A. said the case was under investigation, but confirmed that Mr. Chong had been “accidentally left in one of the cells” from April 21 until April 25, and that he had not been charged with a crime.

New York Times: California Man’s ‘Drug Holiday’ Becomes Four-Day Nightmare in Holding Cell

(Thanks Donnie)

Recently: Undercover Cops Seduce High School Students and Entrap Them into Selling Weed

May 5, 2012 1 comment
Alejandro Jodorowsky Leads Group Psychomagic Ritual for Casualties of the War on Drugs

Alejandro Jodorowsky Leads Group Psychomagic Ritual for Casualties of the War on Drugs

Psychomagic

Alejandro Jodorowsky made a rare public appearance in Mexico City to lead a group psychomagic ritual with over 3,000 participants:

It was billed as “the first act of collective psycho-magic in Mexico.”

The call made by the cult mystic Alejandro Jodorowsky said the event would seek to “heal” the country of the cosmic weight of so many dead in the drug war, by gathering for something he called the March of the Skulls.

On Sunday, on a wet and frigid morning in this mountain capital, hundreds of Jodorowsky fans answered the open convocation (video link in Spanish).

They donned black top hats and black shawls, and carried canes and Mexican flags colored in black. They wore calavera face paint or masks to give themselves the look of stylish skeletons gathered in this often-surreal city in the name of Mexico’s tens of thousands of sometimes nameless drug war dead.

LA Times Blog: Cult mystic holds ‘march of skulls’ for Mexico’s drug war dead

Update: You can find a collection of links to more pictures here.

(Thanks Trevor!)

December 6, 2011 0 comments
The legal high industry goes pro

The legal high industry goes pro

Now this is where it gets interesting because the researchers note that a new product appeared on the market, containing JWH-073 – another synthetic cannabinoid, within four weeks of the ban. JWH-073 has similar similar effects, but isn’t covered by the law and so remains legal.

The speed at which it appeared suggests that it had been selected and synthesised in advance, in anticipation of the ban [...]

In other words, the legal high industry is packing neuroscientists and heavyweight lab pharmacologists. It is no longer just head-shop hippies repackaging obscure psychoactive and barely recreational plants as a poor substitute for street drugs. The legal high industry has become professionalised.

Seemingly based on the model of the pharmaceutical industry, it is becoming science-led, regulation savvy and is out-manoeuvring the authorities well before they catch up.

Mind Hacks: Spice flow: the new street drug pharmacology

December 5, 2009 1 comment
Marijuana Grow House Found In Mall Of The Americas

Marijuana Grow House Found In Mall Of The Americas

The Drug Enforcement Administration discovered something unexpected in the Mall of the Americas.

DEA agents found a hydroponics lab with more than 200 marijuana plants, standing 3 to 6 feet tall in the air and worth millions of dollars, in a storage area on the second floor of the mall.

Authorities said the electricity that powered the lab was diverted from the mall’s main power supply.

No arrests have been made. Authorities said officials with the Mall of the Americas are cooperating with the investigation.

From: Central Florida News

(via Cryptogon)

August 25, 2008 0 comments
Lawsuit Against County and Sheriff Pat Hedges Claims Pot Shop Closure After Raid Violates Constitutional Rights

Lawsuit Against County and Sheriff Pat Hedges Claims Pot Shop Closure After Raid Violates Constitutional Rights

“An Atascadero woman has sued the county and Sheriff Pat Hedges, claiming a raid last year that led to the closure of a Morro Bay marijuana dispensary violated her constitutional right to medicinal cannabis. The case filed June 20 by Elaine McKellips, 56, illustrates an ongoing legal battle between conflicting state and federal laws surrounding medical marijuana use. In her lawsuit, McKellips alleges that Hedges: ?violated the state constitutional right of her and others to medical marijuana;

? illegally raided the Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers marijuana dispensary on March 29 using a federal search warrant instead of a state search warrant; ? violated confidentiality laws by seizing medical records; and ? inflicted emotional distress on her and other patients when denying them access to medical marijuana.

McKellips is asking for an unlimited amount in compensation and an investigation by the county to determine if the sheriff spent taxpayer dollars appropriately during the probe of the dispensary and whether the sheriff violated his duty to uphold state laws, according to the complaint.”

(via San Luis Obispo.com. h/t: The Drug Law Blog)

July 18, 2008 2 comments
The Black Hole in The Cost of Healthcare: Big Pharma and Transparency

The Black Hole in The Cost of Healthcare: Big Pharma and Transparency

It’s no secret that Big Pharma has been providing doctors with special perks in return for prescribing their products. This has been going on for ages. But to get a better grip on why the costs of healthcare have been increasing dramatically we need to understand about the massive networks that Big Pharma is involved in. Believe it or not, Big Pharma is connected to everything. The AMA, the FDA, the financial markets/big business, the insurance industry, law and politics; these are all affected by Big Pharma.

Recently it was reported that there are more Americans addicted to prescription drugs than illegal drugs. An article in The New York Times stated that ‘An analysis of autopsies in 2007 released this week by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission found that the rate of deaths caused by prescription drugs was three times the rate of deaths caused by all illicit drugs combined.’ That’s a pretty hefty number. I know quite a few people who became addicted to prescription drugs. Some said tranquilizers and painkillers were harder to quit than illegal drugs. Prescription pain killers have become the ‘new heroin’, and are increasingly becoming a major problem in the school system.

Not only are the doctors getting ‘perks’ from the drug companies, but the professors and the research facilities of major universities have been the recipient of ‘special benefits’ as well. Recently ‘three influential psychiatrists from Harvard Medical School seem to have been caught with their hands in the drug-laced cookie jar, and now they’re in big trouble. Two days after it was alleged that the three doctors failed to report a collective $4.2 million in payments from pharmaceutical companies, Harvard and the affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital have launched an investigation into the doctors’ behavior.’ Big Pharma = Big Money.

Let me just state for the record that I think research and development in pharmaceuticals is an important factor in saving lives. Not all prescription drugs are addictive or deadly. Many are necessary to keep people alive. But let me also state that many side effects from certain drugs are not discovered until many years later. This can be a ‘Catch-22′. Also more money is spent on advertising than on R&D. In an article by Science Daily it was reported that ‘the U.S. pharmaceutical industry spent 24.4% of the sales dollar on promotion, versus 13.4% for research and development, as a percentage of US domestic sales of US$235.4 billion.’ Instead of prolonging or enhancing life, getting the word out about their products is of priority.

Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is proposing legislation for reporting any payments over $500 paid by pharmaceutical companies to doctors or academic research to be on public record. ‘If they are being paid, it ought to be reported,’ said Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. Grassley is also looking at the money drug companies pay doctors for academic research. He is investigating some 20 top medical schools – including Harvard, Stanford and the University of Cincinnati, for under-reporting the income top researchers are getting from the drug industry. Grassley wants to learn if the money is influencing research.”

I think transparency on this is issue is way overdue. When the absurd ‘war on illegal drugs’ becomes part of a cover for the pharmaceutical companies’ desire to line their pockets, then something needs to be done.

(References: Discover Magazine-”Psychiatrists Who Hid Big Pharma Money Now Face Inquiry”, New York Times-”Legal Drugs Kill Far More Than Illegal”, Science Daily-”Big Pharma Spends More on Advertising Than Research and Development, Study Finds”, Weeks MD “Are Perks Compromising MD Ethics?”, The Providence Journal- “CVS Trial: Celona Tells of Becoming Point Man For CVS” , Campus Progress-” A New Kind Of Addiction”, Wired-”Prescription Drugs: Rock’s New Coke and Heroin?” and a h/t to Dr. Peter Rost’s Pharma Law Blog.)

July 2, 2008 2 comments
Students Will Be Denied Financial Aid for Past Drug Convictions

Students Will Be Denied Financial Aid for Past Drug Convictions

Salon.com has a good feature on the Bush administrations denial of financial aid to students who have been convicted of drug charges:

When then-candidate George W. Bush answered questions during the presidential campaign about whether he had ever used illegal drugs, he refused to give a yes or no answer, claiming that his past was irrelevant. “I am asking people to judge me for who I am today,” he said in a September 1999 interview. “I hope it doesn’t cost me the election. I hope people understand.”

That nonanswer was good enough to get Bush into the White House, but it wouldn’t be good enough to get him a student loan under his administration’s higher education policy. On Tuesday, the Department of Education announced that it would enforce a law that would deny financial aid to students who answer “yes” — or refuse to answer at all — to one simple question: “Have you ever been convicted of selling or possessing drugs?”

Also, Plastic has two different stories about clubs being blamed for the drug use of their customers one here and the other here.

Update: Like most old Plastic.com links, the two above are broken.

April 29, 2001 0 comments